Monday, January 19, 2004

NOT ENCOURAGING

My current fiction reading is The Paradise Eater by John Ralston Saul. I've read most of his non-fiction essays but never any of his novels. The book is easy to read and quite good. Many of the explicit topics of his non-fiction work such as The Unconsious Civilization are subtly apparent in his fiction. I just came across this passage that is interesting to contemplate but not necessarily very encouraging:

'The fact is, I never understood that business about life being short. I'd say its long. Very long,' Field repeated. 'And most of it doesn't matter. I'd say only a few seconds of it matter - the big moment, the big choice. But those seconds are never marked out, so you can charge right on through them without even noticing. Then there you are. You've had your big chance, your final, determining test. You didn't recognize it, let alone sieze it. You probably won't notice for years. But you have failed. Irrevocably failed. And after that, all the rest is an interminable wait for the end. Waiting for nothing.'(190)

Now, based on Saul's other writing I don't think he actually subscribes to this particular philosophy. The character, Field, is in a pretty tough spot and in a pretty nihilistic frame of mind. Still though, I hope I haven't missed my moment.

Posted by Matthew @ 2:40 AM